Interesting News on the Timing of the Suspension of Harry “DH” Smith

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Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting some interesting news on the recently suspended Harry “DH” Smith, and the timing of the suspension:

“Several sources are saying that Harry “DH” Smith’s last test — which is the one he failed for — took place on Thursday, September 13 when he was still in developmental. He tested positive for steroids. Smith was apparently the company’s first test failure after the flock of suspensions that were announced two weeks earlier related to the Signature Pharmacy scandal.

Based on what is being said, it seems like WWE held off Smith’s suspension until they were allowed to publicly announce drug failures on November 1. If they had suspended Smith when they initially got the test results — which was sometime in September — they couldn’t announce it to the public due to their policy. Even if they wanted to, he would have been a largely unknown developmental wrestler at the time and his suspension would have gone unnoticed. It should be noted that WWE immediately released the suspended names to all of the media outlets they work with, and even some outlets they almost never work with such as the Pro Wrestling Torch. Basically, they wanted the story out immediately and they wanted the names to be known by as many people as possible.

Smith had been down in developmental for quite some time — nearly a year and a half — seemingly because they had no idea on how to use him. In what is probably a first, it’s starting to look like the decision to finally call Smith up to the main roster was based on the knowledge of his test failure because they had a drug offender to reveal to the public for P.R. purposes. By not suspending him right away in September when they could have, his call-up and wait was to guarantee they had a name to publicly announce when the November 1 provision went into effect. The timing of the announcement of his suspension seems to indicate that the company was looking for names to announce to the public as soon as soon as November 1 hit as proof that their testing is legit. Smith just happened to be the first person caught.

On the other hand, Chris Masters’ suspension appears to be more timely because he was off the road for all of September due to his suspension relating to the fallout from the Signature Pharmacy scandal and they don’t test wrestlers when they’re off the road.

Once again, WWE got the results from Smith’s drug test in September. They didn’t make the decision to bring him up and push him until a few weeks after they had gotten the test results. Smith was flown to the European tour at the last minute and they ended up debuting him the next Monday on 10/22. He beat Carlito in his debut match and teamed up with Jeff Hardy the next week, winning a tag match over Carlito & Kennedy. Internally, some people believe that his push on television was designed to show that they were willing to suspend a guy that was in the midst of a push and not just wrestlers at the bottom of the totem pole.”

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